Nightly News   |  April 28, 2013

Authorities investigating if Boston suspect had training

The big question for lawmakers is whether or not Tamerlan Tsarnaev received training during his 2012 visit to Dagestan, NBC’s Michelle Franzen reports.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> we turn to the boston bombing investigation. now new questions tonight about the bapath the suspects may have taken leading up to that violent and deadly day two weeks ago tomorrow. nbc 's michelle franzen is in boston now with the very latest. michelle, good evening.

>> reporter: good evening, lester. nbc news has confirmed that russian authorities in the initial days after the bombing here in boston reached out to u.s. authorities and told them back in 2011 that russian authorities had had actually had a wiretapped conversation that they had recorded between tamerlan tsarnaev and his mother and a conversation where the russians say they justed jihad. this conversation, authorities tell us, say there is no link or connection at this time to the bombings here in boston but investigators are still tracking leads here and overseas. a key focus for investigators centers on tamerlan 's tsarnaev's visit to dagestan in 2012 and what he did during his six-month stay. authorities tell nbc news they are weighing russian reports on what they learned about tamerlan while he he was visiting family. big question sunday for lawmakers, whether tamerlan received training during his trip.

>> i suspect that ultimately we're going to conclude that a lot of the radicalization took place before the trip, that these brothers particularly the older brother, were more self-radicalized, online sources were among the most significant factors.

>> reporter: several former counterterrorism officials tell nbc news investigators are leaning toward a theory that the two suspects did not have training and acted alone. pointing to serious flaws in the operation. the suspect had no escape plan and returned home after the bombing. police say they car jacked a vehicle and stole money from the victim. and on the day of the bombing, authorities say they stood out an, unlike everyone else, were not in a panic. in boston this morning, at the old south church , a moving walk and vigil to the marathon finish line. healing moments for young and old alike, and signs the boston strong spirit is thriving. and all along boylston street only one business is now not open. the rest of them have opened here and the memorial back here, there is much more than just an outpouring of people and written notes. we're also learning that the one fund created to help victims has received nearly $27 million in donations. lester?

>> michelle franzen tonight, thank you.